Off the Grid

  • Welcome to Our New Site & Enjoy 20% OFF Merchandise!

    Today I couldn’t be more excited to see our new site and brand out in the wild. For the last three months our team has been working hard to pull all of this together. As well as a totally new brand, which we’ll share more about soon, we’ve completely rethought the structure of the site to make things easier to find.

    Massive product page overhaul

    We’ve simplified our product pages with a fresh new design that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. This includes awesome new photos and showcasing the amazing product ideas and design. Over the last six months this has grown to include more bags and portable solar chargers! The new gallery is now a pleasure to browse as a grid of thumbnails. You can even browse by product category.

    All new guide

    We’ve converted our blog into everything from adventure traveling, charity and event sponsorships, how to keep your gadgets charged up with or without sunlight. We’ve got a few more additions to this section in the pipeline right now, we hope you’ll stay tuned.

    See who you’re talking to

    Our new FAQ and support make it easy to get your questions answered, but when you need to speak to someone, we’re there for you. We pride ourselves on providing super fast 24 hour support.

    Take a look around... and enjoy 20% OFF ALL MERCHANDISE!

    There really is too much good stuff to include in one post. From the mobile optimized blog, a better way to browse online, there are improvements to just about every corner of the site. Take a look around, let us know if you spot anything that’s broken (it’s going to happen) and please, let us know what you think. The 20% off promotion is a thank you to all of you for supporting us and our products, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter and create an account to receive our future promotions!

    Looking forward a wonderful holiday season together, cheers! 

  • 4 Unusual Structures Powered by the Sun

    Obviously we wouldn’t be here without the power of the Sun. If the Sun shut down, we wouldn’t die off immediately - we’d die off a little after immediately (hey - that’s reassuring, right?). Aside from providing heat and powering, there are some unknown major outdoor structures that are solar-powered. While we tend to focus on outdoor, hiking, and backpacking products, the structures below are on a major scale. Without further adieu, here are 4 not-so-ordinary structures that wouldn’t exist without solar power.

    London’s Blackfriars Bridge
    Blackfriars Bridge is now officially a solar-powered structure. In fact, it’s the world’s LARGEST SOLAR BRIDGE,according to Solarcentury. After being fitted with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, Blackfriars Bridge is expected to reduce the CO2 emissions of Blackfriars Station by about 563 tons per year. CNN reports that on a sunny day, the bridge can generate as much as a MEGAWATT OF ELECTRICITY (which is enough to POWER 164 HOMES).

    Sonic Bloom
    Seattle’s PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER is home to a Dr. Seuss-ian exhibit called Sonic Bloom: five 33-foot flowers with solar panels on top. According to the Seattle Times, the flowers hum when visitors approach and use the daylight to suck up energy that makes them glow at night using changing patterns of small LED lights. The exhibit is intended to inspire people to think about solar energy and renewable resources. What could be more inspiring than giant, singing flowers?

    Moser Lamps
    These lamps are one of the coolest gadgets because they’re also one of the simplest. Created by Brazilian mechanic Alfred Moser, these lamps are actually just plastic bottles filled with water and bleach. Yet when installed in the roof of a house, the lamps produce light with a strength of 40 to 60 watts, which is STRONGER THAN SOME LIGHT BULBS, according to the New York Daily News. Sunlight refracts through the bottles to make them glow like lamps, providing a cheap and renewable source of light to poor families all over the world.

    Cochin International Airport
    Kerala, India has the world’s FIRST SOLAR-POWERED AIRPORT - yep, you read the right - a solar-powered airport. In terms of passenger travel, Cochin Airport is India’s 4th largest airport, and with the solar power addition, they are able to provide 60,000 units of electricity everyday - which is more than enough to make the airport’s power self-sustaining. Solar panels are spread over the course of 45 acres (around 25 football fields), and any excess energy produced is fed to India’s state power grid.

    All of these structures are unique in their own way and couldn’t exist without solar power. We hope to see more and more unique solar-powered structures continue to pop up! If you would like to read more posts like this, then check out the Solar-Gear blog at HTTP://WWW.SOLAR-GEAR.COM/BLOG!

  • Dorm Life Essentials


    Is it almost the end of August, already?! Well, in Chicago, we’re soaking in as much sunshine and beach weather as we can. Yet with summer halfway over (yeesh!) there really is no better time to start preparing for a brand new school year.

    College was an amazing time in our lives, and we wanted to share our list of dorm room essentials that have helped us get through four years of school. If you’ll be heading to dorm life soon, consider a few of these to help make the school year a little easier.

    1. Notebook and pen. We’ll kick off this list with a tried and true staple: A notebook and pen of your choice. Yes, there are a number of APPS available that help you keep track of your to-do’s… but writing goals (or tasks) down are proven methods of some of the most successful writers and thought leaders (I’m looking at you Tony Robbins.) Written goals give you direction. And in a brand new school surrounded with thousands of new people, you can use a little help with direction. Personally, some of us here go with a classic black Moleskin but find something that works for you.

    2. Ramen. This BOOK is a college student’s holy grail. Ramen is cheap, tasty and filling. When you’re up late cramming for a midterm, you’ll crave this stuff. Trust us on this one.

    3. Kindle. Amazon has an amazing eTextbook Program - why not take advantage of it if you can. When TEXTBOOK PRICES HAVE RISEN 1,041% SINCE 1977, it really makes renting textbooks, a real no-brainer. See if your school supports this program - you could save on your wallet and eliminate the need of lugging heavy books around.

    4. Speakers. It’s inevitable, there are just some days you want to rock out in your room. Save space with small desktop speakers - don’t be fooled by the small nature, these little guys pack a powerful boom.

    5. Flip-flops. An absolute must. Dorm room carpets and shared bathrooms are perfect breeding grounds for some funky… well, funk. Stash a few pairs in your room - designate one for the bathroom, one for your room and a fun pair for walking to and from class.

    6. Advil. Cramming all that knowledge puts some serious strain on the brain. Not to mention, you will get annoyed with your dorm mate’s messy living habits. Keep a bottle around for times you need it the most.

    7. Travel coffee mug. Coffee makes those 8am group study sessions seem a helluva lot more tolerable. And if coffee isn’t your jam, fill it with your favorite tea or flavored water.

    8. Headphones. Related to #6 above. We’re kidding (kinda.) Find little moments of Zen in between classes, and fill your ears with soothing Jazz or Classical tunes. Or, if moments of quiet are your thing, stick them in your ears and pretend you’re listening to something - no one will know!

    9. Energy bars. In between our gourmet ramen dinners we’d snack on energy bars. The right ones for you will help keep your blood sugar level throughout the day.

    10. A sturdy book bag. You’ll need some solid equipment to store these items in. We like to think our GoPax ProBACKPACK is the perfect solution for you as it keeps all your dorm essentials safely stored and charged up. Plus, with the nifty 2L water bladder - you can fill it with your favorite liquid and stay hydrated throughout your college years. We think it’s the ultimate college accessory, but hey, we’re probably a bit biased.

    These essentials will get any college newbie or veteran through the school year. Cheers to the rest of summer and if you’re heading to college soon, best of luck to you!
  • Festival Gear Essentials

    These days, summer is all about the festival. Music festivals, food truck festivals, art festivals – you name it and there’s a festival for it (not that we’re complaining!) Festivals are a great way to get out there and really experience the days of summer, amidst crowds of people who are trying to do the exact same thing. There’s a happy, unanimous feeling among those who love to go watch live performances.

    Whether you’re going the whole nine yards and have decided to camp out, or you’re only going for one day, there are a few things you’ll want by your side to help you tough it out. We’ve picked these essential items that will make your festival experience go much, much smoother.

    1. Water bottle. The biggest issue with festival-goers is staying hydrated. At festivals, bottles of water can cost anywhere from $6 - 8 each. While it might not seem like much at first, it can add up quickly. An easy way to save money is to pack an empty water bottle. Sure, it might add a little bulk to your gear bag, you’ll be grateful for having it. After you arrive to a show and scan in, head right to a water station to fill it up, and you can easily stay hydrated while dancing the night away. (A word of caution: You know your friends who didn’t bring a water bottle? Expect them to constantly hound you to share!)

    2. Comfortable shoes. Festival style has remained pretty consistent over the past couple of years. Bright, geometric prints in comfortable cottons paired with denim shorts makes for a great, standout outfit. The most important lesson one will learn about dressing for a festival, though, is about shoes. To be honest, no one is looking at what you have on your feet. What truly matters is that they fit you well, they are appropriate for the weather, and that they are comfortable. Bonus points if they come in a cool pattern, like the closed-toed shoes shown above!

    3. Solar charger. Another one of the biggest problems people have at festivals is staying connected. Phones are constantly searching for service, meaning batteries are draining at a rapid pace. Charging stations are hard to find and might not be free. All of this equates to being phoneless, which is a nightmare should you get lost in the crowd without your friends. This is where a solar charger steps in. Our waterproof SOLAR CHARGER holds up to heat, water, sandy beaches and charges both iPhones and Androids. Clip it to your bag and stay charged while being green.

    4. Sunscreen. Whatever the weather forecast is, slather on some SPF before you head out the door for the day. Dealing with nasty sunburn the day after is easily avoidable.

    5. Baby wipes. This one might seem a little unconventional. After jumping around in a sweaty crowd for hour-long sets, you’ll want a few of these handy to wipe down dust, germs and sweat.
    These essentials will get a veteran or newcomer through any festival weekend. Throw them into a lightweight backpack and enjoy yourself without breaking too much of a sweat!

    P.S. You can find most of these items (and others!) in our Rave Pack sold HERE.
  • Beyond the Basics - Camping Essentials

    Camping comes in many different forms. Some take the Bear Grylls style to heart - only gear and minimal food, whereas some seem to think packing up an entire RV is the ideal camping lifestyle. Most people fall in between these two extremes - whether it’s backpacking in the Rockies, or going to your local National Park to do some hiking and beer drinking.

    Here are five often overlooked essentials that you should consider for your next outdoor adventure (note: these are a bit more advanced than a tent or bedding.)
    1. Hatchet - There’s a book called “Hatchet” that you may have read in grade school. It’s about a teenager who fights off animals with - you guessed it - a hatchet. In all seriousness, hatchets are very versatile tools that allow you to chop wood or get through brush.

    2. A Pocket Knife - You have to hand it to the Swiss - between watches and knives, they have been able to corner the market in portable gear. Swiss Army Knives allow you to have 10 tools in one. Forgettable things like tweezers or pliers can be a Godsend if you’re in the middle of nowhere.

    3. Rope/Fishing Wire - Becoming a knot expert is sort of a rite of passage when it comes to outdoor activities like sailing or camping. Rope is great if you’re taking any river or whitewater trips - it allows you to tie together all of your gear so you don’t lose individual bags in rough currents. Fishing wire is pretty obvious - it’s great for fishing. Many metal products can be turned into a hook, so just throw some meat on and tie it to some wire, and you’re set for catfish.

    4. A Lighter - Unless you’re a chain smoker, you should just need one lighter. Even if you’re camping in what seems like a mild climate, nights can get cold. Plus let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than building an enormous bonfire. Fires are essential for cooking meat or killing bacteria for questionable water.

    5. Beef Jerky - Dried meat has been around for centuries, and much like our other suggestions, it’s versatile. You can use it for eating (duh), fishing, or hunting. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 or 100 degrees - jerky stays fresh for days and takes up relatively small space (even if it can be a bit expensive.)

    6. *** Bonus *** Whether you’re a novice or experienced camper - you will need some solid equipment to store these items in. We like to think our GoPax Pro BACKPACK is the perfect solution for you as it keeps all your camping essentials items safely stored and charged up. Plus, with the nifty 2L water bladder - you can fill it with your favorite liquid (water, punch, adult beverage, even) and stay hydrated during your trip. We think it’s the ultimate camping accessory, but hey, we might be a bit biased.
    These are just a few suggestions that don’t take up much space. If you’re stranded somewhere, these should be able to get you through a few tough nights. Also remember, you don’t need to outrun a bear - just be faster than your friend. Happy camping!

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